The photograph of Korean War veteran Jeryl Matthews in his Army fatigues, wearing a helmet, etched in the Kern County Korean War Memorial wall was taken a long time ago.
He seems to remember it like it was yesterday.
Reminiscing about the war he and Air Force veteran Richard Smith fought in was the main topic of discussion as they busily cleaned the memorial in Henry A. Jastro Park Thursday.
Matthews and Smith decided the memorial, erected in 2006, needed a good cleaning. So, after discovering the perfect liquid solution and an old-fashioned pumice stone would do the trick, they took on the task.
The memorial states in bold lettering, "The Forgotten War," which lasted from June 25, 1950 until July 27, 1953, according to the words engraved on the stone.
There were 33,741 Americans killed in action, with 103,284 Americans wounded and 2,835 non-hostile deaths, according to the large, three-section memorial that catches your eye as you drive west on Truxtun Avenue past the park.
As they cleaned, they remembered those they served during the war. Matthews said he was in Korea while Smith said he served all around Korea, but not actually in the country.
They are both glad to be here today to talk about it.